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Stop Driving Us Crazy!


Published 1959


Rusty, a spy from Mars, pays a visit to Earth and discovers how its inhabitants disrespect one another by driving poorly. The film espouses a Christian viewpoint on safety, stating that "reckless driving is a sin." The 1950s-style animation is great.Director: Mel Emde. Writer: William Bernal. Designer: Cliff Roberts. Animators: Ken Mundie, Dick Drew, Sammy Kai. Voices: Howard Morris. Music: Benny Golson with Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers. Executive Producer: Roger Burgess. Camera Effects: Bill Gage.


Run time 9:51
Producer Creative Arts Studios
Sponsor General Board of Temperance of The Methodist Church
Audio/Visual Sd, C


Shotlist

Ken Smith notes: A religious/sci-fi/drivers education film. "Rusty" is a spy from Mars (see Destination Earth). He looks like a bug with big eyes and tiny wheels, but in this late-fifties blob art universe he also looks like a car (the story line for this film would not have been possible if America had better taste in design). Lots of geometric shapes bounce around while a jazz quintet honks on the soundtrack. Rusty notes that cars are "slaves" on Earth ("Man, I mean, like, you know, they drive us ca-ray-zee!") and equates poor driving habits with theologic damnation. ("The right of way is not as important as The Right Way." "Reckless driving is a sin.")
The credit roll takes up the last minute-and-a-half of this ten minute film.

Danger Lurks Safety
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Reviews

Reviewer: spikesbidness - - January 12, 2010
Subject: Weak, but super cool
This piece, while it's story is a little weak, and it's message a little too over the top in some places, is still super cool with it's simple animation, and great score by Art Blakely.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - June 22, 2005
Subject: Theme song not by Britney Spears
The up-til-now unrealized mixture of Religious film and car-safety film is featured in this film, and this film is developed so well you gotta wonder why this type of film wasn't thought of before or since. Such lines as "Thou Shalt Not Kill" and "Do Unto others as you would do yourself" are well adapted here for the highway. The story is somewhat hokey (alien visits earth, trained on eatch mannerisms and religion to find out people don't practice what they preach. Animation is simple, but it's The Message that's important, and I gotta say it worked for me! Reccomended!
Reviewer: Steve Nordby - - August 20, 2003
Subject: What would drive Jesus ... er ... Rusty?
This surprisingly entertaining stylized 1950's Christian (Methodist) car-toon promotes the environment, cooperation, and tolerance. Obviously not a product of the "Christian right".
Reviewer: BillyHill - - May 15, 2003
Subject: Christian but cool
Great animation synchronized with cool jazz, only slightly marred by overtly christian nagging: "Christian love demands Christian concern for the rights of others." But what would you expect from a film produced by the Methodist Church?
Reviewer: Steve Oswalt - - May 1, 2003
Subject: Correction to Initial Description:
The initial description to this film says: "The film espouses a Christian viewpoint on safety, stating that 'reckless driving is a sin.'" This film may, or may not, expouse a Christian viewpoint, but saying "reckless driving is a sin" doesn't automatically insure the film has a Christian viewpoint. Many, if not most, of the world's religions include the concept of sin, not just Christianity.
Reviewer: Wilford B. Wolf - - April 27, 2003
Subject: Late 50's (Space) Oddity
The basic plot line of this film, of a Martian observer making comments our driving habits, would be taken up again, and done better, in the Canadian National Film Board classic "Out Of This World!". What this film does have going for it is a great sound track by jazz legend Art Blakey and the weird late 50's minimalist animation style, reminiscant of Gene Deitch and Columbia Animation. The religious overtones, especially when coupled with the basic plot, just adds to the weirdness.
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